Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to love Hawksmoor and their great hunks o’meat any more than I already do, they start turning out burgers. At present only available as a lunchtime special, the burger is a true gift to the city business men and ladies what lunch. With the luxury of a week day off however, Chris and I hopped on the number 78 to Shoreditch to sample their latest carnivorous creation – the result of some serious experimentation with numerous different cuts of beef, cheeses and buns.
Yesterday was a sunny day in London and I was therefore excitable anyway. Couple this with the anticipation of tasting what I had built up in my head as the best burger of my life and I needed some calming down. We decided the only thing for it was to sink a couple of my beloved Brew Dog Punk IPA’s but tragically they had run dry. This did present an opportunity to try a frosty glass of Proof Pilsen instead though, which was very pleasant – grassy, slightly hoppy and very importantly, ice cold. I also seriously covet those beer glasses.
Now, onto the important bit. The burger is a combination of lean longhorn beef mixed with a mixture of fattier cuts and (be still my beating heart), little nuggets of bone marrow heaven, for extra unctuous rich flavour goodness. Just like their steaks, the meat was juicy, deep with beefy flavour, sporting a fantastic crusty charring and a damn good unapologetic seasoning.
The bun is, I am relieved to report, in the traditional, sesame seeded, soft style (I am not a fan of messing around with the bun, it shows a lack of confidence in the rest of the burger in my opinion), although Hawksmoor have actually managed to improve on this style too, by using a semi-sweet brioche – all glazed and pretty to boot.
The other burger components are well thought out too – a slight hint of mild, American style mustard coming through in the mayo, super fresh salad of crunchy little gem lettuce, beef tomato, finely sliced red onion and thankfully, pickles. To me, a burger without pickles is incomplete. These were not too wet, not too vinegary and not too small. I am a little sad to report that the carefully chosen Oggleshield cheese was unavailable yesterday, so we had to settle for the emergency cheddar instead. It was totally lost in the burger unfortunately, not enough tang to foil the rich meat patty but obviously Hawksmoor know this, or they wouldn’t have dismissed it in the first place.
They do have the courtesy to give you a knife and fork although I only used them to cut through the burger and provide you with this totally out of focus cross section shot. Sorry about that. Otherwise, the cutlery lay spotless at the side of my plate as I tucked into the burger in the proper manner – with my hands and with gusto.
If I was to make any attempt at a grumble with this burger, I did feel at the time it was but a whisker over cooked. Although, it really looks perfectly nice and pink in this picture. I am as confused by this as you probably are. It is served with a choice of little gem salad or triple cooked chips. Naturally, I ordered the latter. Fluffy within, crispy without, again – not shy with the seasoning. I love them because they remind me of those chips you start to find as you reach the bottom of the paper, the really crispy, salty, naughty ones. A good home made ketchup also comes as standard.
At £15, the burger isn’t cheap, it is downright expensive, but then it is also not far from perfect and I can safely say it is the best I have eaten in London. For me, it is a vast improvement on Hache, where I have issues with the saucing and the bun. Hawksmoor, please accept my whole hearted thanks for finally raising the London burger bar.
157 Commercial Street
0207 247 7392